January 3rd, 2014 by Jan

I have always been a walker. I like to walk. Besides Tai Chi, it is my favourite practice and like Tai Chi, I can do it anywhere. Different from Tai Chi, I like to read when I walk and the invention of the audio book is one of my great loves.

I found a cool pair of ear muffs with speakers in them at our tacky shop for 50¢ and with the iPod plugged into them, I walk, with warm ears while I read with them too.

My walking practices have changed over the years, still it is about as consistent a practice for me as Tai Chi has been.

Recently, my practice is to walk to the top of White Sails from the house two times a day. Morning and night. Just go. The walk takes 20 minutes and like I said, I just go! So no matter what, I get about 40 minutes of walking in every day this way. I have to talk myself into it quite often, but Allons-y…. I go.

Last night, it was pouring rain. On y va! I put my coat and scarf on, the hood of my coat pulled up over the ear muff speakers on my head, book turned on, gloves on, flash light in my pocket and off I go.

It is dark out there this time of the year, especially in the rain. Really dark! I have a small flashlight, but I don’t use it to light my way. I am lucky to be able to walk down the middle of the road here on Bowen and my eyes adjust to the dark. If a car comes, which isn’t that often, I pull out the flash light and swing it around, more so that they see me. I want them to know I am out there.

Last night, I did not meet any cars, but the rain was really coming down. It was darker than usual, and because I had the hood of my coat pulled up instead of wearing a hat, rain was falling on my eyeglasses.

Now, I am use to walking in the dark, my eyes adjust  and I get used to the far away type of blindness. I cultivate the ability to see things in the closer range of my movement. I sense my footwork and I can make out the white line down the middle of the road. So, while I’m walking in the dark, I can see my path.

With rain on my glasses, the ability to see close up vanished last night. My sight line stopped at the droplets on my lenses. I could not see far away and I could not see close up. I tried the flash light for help, but it only gave a bit of a muffled glow for me as well.

It was a very interesting walk. I realize I will need to replay the chapter of the book I was listening to as I missed most of it. One sense in my body was needed more so that the other last night.

My listening skills were how I saw my way home.

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